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What it would cost the Milwaukee Brewers to sign a Qualifying Offer free agent

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Some free agents aren’t free.

World Series - Houston Astros v Washington Nationals - Game Five Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

The 2019-2020 offseason should be a big one for the Milwaukee Brewers. They will likely sign some infielders and a couple pitchers for the rotation. With a sizable chunk of money freed up from contracts ending, cuts and trades, the Brewers could very likely sign one of the bigger names on the market. Signing a bigger name comes with a bigger cost, and not just the final dollar amount.

There are ten free agents that have the Qualifying Offer on them:

  • Jose Abreu, 1B
  • Madison Bumgarner, SP
  • Gerrit Cole, SP
  • Josh Donaldson, 3B
  • Jake Odorizzi, SP
  • Marcell Ozuna, OF
  • Anthony Rendon, 3B
  • Will Smith, RP
  • Stephen Strasburg, SP
  • Zack Wheeler, SP

As a team that gets revenue sharing, the Milwaukee Brewers face the lowest additional compensation compared to other teams. If they sign a qualified free agent, the Brewers lose their third-highest non-competitive balance draft pick and the signing bonus that comes with that pick. That’ll be around pick 70. If the Brewers sign two qualified free agents, they’ll lose their third and fourth round draft picks.

Meanwhile, if a team payed the competitive balance tax, it would forfeit its second-highest and fifth-highest pick. They’ll also lose $1,000,000 of their international pool. Finally, any other team loses its second-highest pick and $500,000 of its international signing pool.

Thankfully, the Brewers are in the best possible situation for signing a free agent with the Qualifying Offer. They have also signed one of those free agents in each of the last two seasons in Lorenzo Cain and Yasmani Grandal. They even gave up an additional compensatory draft pick in the Alex Claudio trade, showing that David Stearns isn’t worried about losing picks.